How to Create a Custom Hotel Management Software Program?
Want to run a hotel on your own? A quality property management software program will save you lots of time and money. In this article, we advise prospective hoteliers on how to bring new digital solutions to their business. Keep reading!
Want to become a hotel owner? Excellent! Start thinking about hotel management software development. As more customers, especially millennials and Generation Z, prefer online bookings, hoteliers should be prepared to deal properly with the increase of this type of consumer activity.
In this article, we will tell you about the extensive benefits of hotel management systems software as well as our experience of making an innovative property database – just keep reading.
Reasons to develop a custom hotel management software program
As travelers get younger and more demanding, personalization and superfast service become keys to their hearts. Indeed, why wait to make a reservation in front of a hotel desk instead of clicking a couple of times on a smartphone? Moreover, why not use a smartphone instead of an annoying key card to check in and check out? It's no wonder that hotels worldwide are introducing new digital solutions to their guests as well as considering options on how to create a hotel management software program.
Statistics also proves that the hospitality industry strongly relies on digital technologies. According to Socialtables, about 92% of hotel guests carry smartphones, while about 40% of them already use hotel apps for a range of services. Moreover, approximately 74% of hotel guests surveyed were willing to join customized hotel loyalty programs, receive tailor-made email offers as well as share their personal data such as gender and age.
Therefore, obtaining a hotel management system for your business definitely sounds like a good idea. Such software will automate numerous daily operations, including reservations, and provide quick updates on the available room space for bookings.
Eventually, you may decide to obtain a ready-made hotel management system or buy a custom hotel management software program. Both solutions are suitable, yet a ready-made hotel management system might not necessarily fit your particular business needs. It may lack some useful features or, on the contrary, possess too many irrelevant modules. In this case, a custom hotel management system seems a better option for those willing to obtain tailor-made digital solutions.
Why build a hotel management software program?
It offers numerous benefits to business owners:
Personalization has been among the major keys to a business's success in recent years as it tends to increase brand loyalty. Indeed, even small hospitality actions, such as sending birthday greetings or serving guests with a preferred type of coffee, engage customer loyalty. With a custom hotel management software, hotels can do a lot of cool stuff such as providing electronic city maps and guides to their guests, sending welcome emails, birthday greetings, and newsletters, running loyalty programs, and many others. All of this inevitably raises the personalization level.
Provides flawless room service and creates a less formal atmosphere
A custom hotel property management system will significantly improve the automation of such routine tasks as room check-ins and check-outs, room readiness notifications, ordering special services, reserving places at restaurants, and others. As the human interaction between hotel staff and guests will substantially decrease, this will eventually create a less formal atmosphere that is particularly appreciated by millennials and Generation Z customers. Moreover, the increased automation of room service will certainly reduce the possible staff mistakes that always lead to potential conflicts and misunderstandings.
Reduces staff members' mundane routines
In addition, custom hotel management software will reduce many of the daily routines performed by staff members. As a result, hotel staff members can be redirected into doing more creative tasks, such as improving special services and guest catering. Moreover, the automation of routine tasks might also save costs on additional staff members.
Improves data control and safety
Still keeping your documentation in Excel or on paper? In the modern world, this can be dangerous, as Excel files are prone to hacking, and paper documents might be easily destroyed as well. With custom hotel management software, you can store all of the information about guests in the electronic system, integrated with a CRM. You will be in full control of all the very sensitive information with a minimal risk of data hacking or loss. Apart from that, you will always manage to provide quick updates on rooms’ availability and pictures.
Improves data collection
Knowing the preferences of your guests is a major step toward improving personalization. Information about guests, such as their purpose of stay, room choice, ordered room services, favorite drinks, payment details, and total spending, might be useful for both tailor-made guest offers and inner marketing research. With custom hotel management software, you can easily drag various statistics reports in PDFs and apply them in your daily activities.
For example, once you know that your VIP guests spent lots of money in the hotel restaurant last time, staff members can book them places in advance upon their next arrival. Other guests can be greeted with their favorite cappuccino. In fact, regular statistics reports about guests’ behavior might say a lot about the actual state of your hotel service and thereby provide tips for improvement.
Key features of custom hotel management systems
Although custom hotel management systems largely depend on the needs of a particular hotel or hotel chain, there are certain basic features or modules that which they typically contain: reservation module, guests’ management elements, staff management elements, and analytical features.
Usually, customers begin their first interaction with a hotel via a reservation. Therefore, a reservation module within a custom management system provides hotel staff members with customers’ reservation details such as check-in and check-out dates, number of guests, room preferences, and others. A reservation module typically includes some sort of a booking engine, property listings with photos/descriptions/rates, and a channel manager.
While a booking engine processes booking data, channel manager synchronizes reservations from multiple channels such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor.com, and others. It is of crucial importance to spend enough time creating quality property listings and providing customers with accurate information on what they should expect from a hotel.
Guests’ management elements
A custom hotel management software program safely stores all of the information about guests, such as contacts, room details, room orders, payment methods, etc. In addition, the guests’ management module sends all types of notifications as well as electronic bills and invoices to customers.
Staff management elements
As hotel managers are incredibly busy people, they often devote plenty of their work time to interaction with employees, such as contacting them about daily tasks or scheduling days off. A well-designed custom hotel management system automates numerous daily staff interactions, such as tasks delivery, progress tracking, attendance monitoring, distributing shifts, assigning days off, etc.
Analytical features within a hotel management software program are of incredible importance to achieving business success. No matter whether you are a small hotel owner or run a giant hotel chain, you still need a thorough tracking of an overall performance and finance matters. A well-designed property management system usually contains a revenue manager and report aggregator.
Apart from tracking income and expenses, a revenue manager calculates prices based on competitors’ offers, analyzes customer behavior and a hotel’s market position, and monitors the effectiveness of the selling channels. A report aggregator arranges different sets of hotel data (for example, room categories sold, monthly revenues, guests behavior, and others) into readable comprehensive materials.
Major steps to consider for custom hotel management system development
In fact, hotel management system development presumes the same standard process as with any other software: planning, testing, and deployment. A typical development team should at a minimum include a back-end developer, business analyst, front-end developer, project manager, and UI/UX designer. Usually it takes 4-6 months to develop a custom hotel management software demo version.
At the same time, there are several distinct considerations for this type of software that you should follow:
First, pay attention to the interface. Avoid any complexities, as it should be easy to use for a hotel’s staff members. Furthermore, the interface should go in line with the best contemporary trends of modern design.
Second, check the integration of all the necessary APIs into the expected property management system. It is of crucial importance that your development company provides appropriate integration services to all the systems already used by the hotel. Otherwise, you may require additional technical support.
Third, ensure that you have permanent access to 24/7 technical support, as it is crucial for a dynamic hotel industry. A small mistake in a property listing can cost you dozens of clients in this ultra-competitive environment! Therefore, hotel service shouldn’t be affected by any incidents with software. A good idea would be to set up all the issues related to technical support in the contract agreement with your development company.
Fourth, think about employing cloud solutions as you don’t need to pay the maintenance fees for them. Moreover, cloud software generally provides better system integration and is constantly updated.
Our team has proudly worked with partners from the UAE to create a hotel management system called “Hotel Data Cloud”.
As many hotels typically sell their rooms through various booking partners, such as Booking.com or TripAdvisor, they don’t possess a straightforward opportunity to provide regular updates about their properties. Hotel Data Cloud stores hotels’ descriptions and photos, so that hoteliers can instantly update their listings on any booking channel with a single click.
At present, Hotel Data Cloud is the only hotel database that hosts large amounts of attractive properties’ photos and allows its customers to manage descriptions in multiple languages as well as regularly add new premises to various booking sites. The use of multilingual descriptions combined with regular updates substantially raises properties’ visibility to potential clients.
A great feature of Hotel Data Cloud is that hotel owners have full 24/7-hour control over their property listings on third-party websites. As soon as they provide updates on their property, for instance on parking places, breakfast times, or check-in times, those changes get immediately distributed across all the listed booking platforms. As a result, hotels’ guests always know what to expect.
Moreover, with Hotel Data Cloud, customers can simultaneously update their property details on thousands booking channels with a single click. The automation of content distribution has already saved thousands of hours for our clients that previously had to upload all of the information manually to every distribution channel. By doing so, not only were they redusing efficiency, but they also risked occasionally providing incorrect information. On the contrary, with automated content distribution, our customers could devote more time to catering their guests, and thereby raising personalization.
Finally, Hotel Data Cloud helps distribute hotels’ content to a wide range of constantly expanding channels, including booking engines, tour operators and travel agencies. In case our client is not represented on particular distribution channels, we make sure that their contents appear there as soon as possible.
As for the pricing policy, Hotel Data Cloud offers three options: basic, premium, and enterprise. A basic option is free of charge and suits smaller privately managed properties. It features 150-word room descriptions in two languages as well as information on the room types and room amenities. Premium and enterprise options suit larger hotel business and hotel chains serving large numbers of international guests. Those options provide big room and hotel descriptions in multiple languages, editorial support, high resolution images and videos.
As the hospitality industry is increasingly relying on digital solutions, soon ambitious and savvy hotel businesses will start to think of how to create a hotel management system. Indeed, such software brings numerous benefits, including routine tasks automation, improved personalization, and flawless interaction with customers. Moreover, it is simple to use for hotel staff due to graphic design.
In case you decide to build a hotel property management system, you will get full control over sensitive data, e.g. customers’ personal details. In addition, you will manage to provide instant property updates, including available room pictures and descriptions. Normally, developers will provide you with custom-made on-demand features, so that there’s no need to pay for unnecessary modules. Therefore, custom hotel management software looks like a smart deal!
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